DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index ("DTI") is a quarterly survey implemented by Hong Kong Productivity Council ("HKPC"), and commissioned by DHL Express (Hong Kong) Limited ("DHL").

DTI is the first-of-its-kind in Hong Kong, offering publicly available market intelligence for local enterprises, especially SMEs which typically have limited resources or access to information, enabling all to take reference from a comprehensive business review of the sector in which they operate.

The Overall Index represents the air trade market outlook for the surveying quarter, in respect of import and (re-)export. The research also studies the underlying trends in business attributes, markets and air-freighted commodities, thus assisting local enterprises in arriving at a primed view of the business outlook of their markets.


DTI - First Quarter of 2017

Release Date: Jan 25, 2017

DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index (DTI) 

Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election in November 2016 surprised the market, as did his outspoken approach. As a result of Mr. Trump's unpredictable position on a range of economic and political issues, the air trade industry’s market outlook is characterized by uncertainty.

  1. The overall DTI index reading is 41.8 for Q1 2017. Although this represents a marginal drop of 1.5 points compared with Q4 2016, this index score is the second highest across the previous five consecutive quarters.

  2. For the period under review, the survey featured specific questions to gauge air traders' views on "Trumponomics" - the anticipated economic policies of Mr. Trump. Aspects of this include monetary policies, mega regional trade deals, and policies towards China. Accordingly, the majority of respondents reported that they have yet to see any impact of "Trumponomics" on their businesses. Notwithstanding this, air traders who do think there will be an impact, whether positive or negative, are concerned with two main issues: the influence of the Federal Reserve Bank’s policies – including the pace of its interest rate hike - and Mr. Trump's policies toward China.

  3. In light of these observations, the slightly lower index score of 41.8 in Q1 2017 is attributable to air imports as sales volumes are expected to be lower and demand for luxury goods and apparel somewhat subdued. Nevertheless, as the traditional air trade business peaks before Chinese New Year and the Easter holidays draw near, the responses for Q1 2017 reflect a more confident outlook than for the same period in 2016.

  4. Mr. Gordon Lo, Director (Business Management) of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, said, "The market is still cautious about the outlook. Enterprises can make use of big data analytics to formulate future development plans and innovative marketing strategies. By analysing big data, such as company business data, market intelligence, and social media information, enterprises can understand the impact of external changes on turnover. Accordingly, they can deploy flexible and appropriate promotions to address the needs of customers in different situations."

Download the latest report of DTI (PDF version) (Text-only version). Survey results of the Second quarter of 2017 will be released in May 2017. 

Download of DTI Quarterly Report


Release Date

DTI - First Quarter of 2017 (PDF version)
DTI - First Quarter of 2017 (Text-only version)
Jan 25, 2017
DTI - Fourth Quarter of 2016 (PDF version)
DTI - Fourth Quarter of 2016 (Text-only version)
Nov 11, 2016
DTI - Third Quarter of 2016 (PDF version)
DTI - Third Quarter of 2016 (Text-only version)
Aug 8, 2016
DTI - Second Quarter of 2016 (PDF version)
DTI - Second Quarter of 2016 (Text-only version)
May 13, 2016

DTI - First Quarter of 2016 (PDF version)
DTI - First Quarter of 2016 (Text-only version)

Feb 19, 2016

DTI - Fourth Quarter of 2015 (PDF version)
DTI - Fourth Quarter of 2015 (Text-only version)

Nov 16, 2015

DTI - Third Quarter of 2015 (PDF version)
DTI - Third Quarter of 2015 (Text-only version)

Aug 11, 2015

DTI - Second Quarter of 2015 (PDF version)
DTI - Second Quarter of 2015 (Text-only version)

May 7, 2015

DTI - First Quarter of 2015 (PDF version)
DTI - First Quarter of 2015 (Text-only version)

Feb 6, 2015

DTI - Final Quarter of 2014 (PDF version)
DTI - Final Quarter of 2014 (Text-only version)

Nov 12, 2014




Index Calculation: Index = [100 x (Percentage of samples responding "Positive") ] + [50 x (Percentage of samples responding "Neutral") ] + [0 x (Percentage of samples responding "Negative") ]




  • Ratios of collected responses are used to form the indices.
  • An index value above 50 indicates an overall positive outlook while a reading below 50 represents an overall negative outlook for the surveyed quarter.
  • The further the reading is from 50, the more positive or negative the outlook is.



  • Respondents are Hong Kong-based companies associated with either inbound or outbound air trade. It includes Watches, Clocks & Jewellery, Apparel & Clothing Accessories, Electronics Products & parts, Gifts, Toys & Houseware, Food & Beverage and Others (including courier service and other items which do not belong to the categories listed above).
  • Over 600 samples are collected in each quarter.
  • Sample companies are randomly selected from publicly available directories.



This report contains survey result based on research findings.  HKPC will not be liable for any loss, mistake, delay, action or non-action by viewers of this report.



For more details about the Index, please contact Mr. Eric Cheung at tel. (852) 2788 6008 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..